Amazon updated its entry-level Fire 7 tablet this year with a new model sporting a faster processor and twice as much storage as its predecessor. But two things haven’t changed.

First, prices for Amazon’s Fire 7 tablet still start at $50 (or less during one of Amazon’s frequent sales). And second, the 9th-gen Fire 7 tablet (2019) is pretty hackable.

In the short time it’s been available, users have figured out how to root the tablet, unlock the bootloader, downgrade the operating system if necessary, and install the Google Play Store.

Install Google Play

Want to keep using Amazon’s apps and services and don’t want to risk rooting your device, but wish you had access to the Google Play Store and Google Play Services so you could run apps like YouTube, Gmail, and Google Maps? No problem.

As confirmed by xda-developers forum member Michajin, the same method folks have been using to install Google Play on Fire tablets for three years continues to work.

Basically all you need to do is dive into the tablet’s settings, enable installation of apps from unknown sources, and then download and install four apps in order.

This xda-developers forum post has links to the apps you need and some more detailed instructions.

Root, unlock, downgrade, and more

Xda-developers forum member (and long-time Fire tablet hacker) xyz’ has posted two sets of instructions for rooting the 9th-gen Fire 7 tablet.

One involves a hardware hack (you need to open the tablet and short a circuit), while the other is software-only. Both will wipe all data on your tablet, so make sure to backup any important files before you begin.

If you follow the steps you’ll end up with not only a rooted tablet, but also one with an unlocked bootloader and a custom recovery that will let you flash boot images including Magisk (which you can use to manage root).

The post from xyz’ also includes instructions for reverting to Amazon’s stock Fire OS software if you want to reset your device, as well as tips for recovering a “bricked” device that may not appear to work after a failed downgrade or some similar situations.

Other stuff

Folks have also found that once you have the Play Store installed and/or you have root access, there are several methods to block OTA-updates and other features (including lock screen ads… although I should point out that Amazon also lets you disable those by spending an extra $15).

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5 replies on “Amazon’s 2019 Fire 7 tablet can be rooted, unlocked, and more”

  1. This article is a disservice. It makes it sound as though it was a simple thing to root your Amazon Fire. It’s not. The instruction are written in indecipherable hacker jargon that the ordinary person will never understand. And it you get it wrong you brick your new tablet. The best thing to do is not purchase a Fire in the first place. The only thing they are good for is getting you to spend more money at Amazon.

    1. While the rooting part is partially true, I don’t think many people who are trying to root it have no ideas what they’re getting into.

      Fire tablets still have unimpressive amounts of RAM, so rooting with the goal of running sophisticated apps isn’t the best idea.

      However, the fire tablets are hands down the best tablet for the price if all you’re going to be using it for is a media consumption device – netflix, Hulu, web browsing, email…

    2. Ballsy post Bruce but I’m with you. Aside from enthusiasts, the idea of rooting and fiddling isn’t going to catch fire with the masses. If you think that tablet is good at getting you to spend more money at Amazon just wait for their Amazon implants. No heavy lifting shopping experience.

    3. Hacker jargon? I mean yes I am a well-versed computer scientist etc but the instructions even the hardware ones can even be done by a trained monkey let’s be real. It’s just copy-pasting some simple commands and running them. You must think then that hacking a console by soldering points or even something like the Nintendo switch hack that requires shorting a couple of pins to be comparable to building the pyramids in Egypt.
      I mean I get some people are tech illiterate but seriously rooting by means of downloading some files putting them in a folder, connecting your device via USB and copy-pasting commands on a command line is like 1-2-3 ezpz.

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